HOME > Chowhound > Manhattan >


best coffee in manhattan

  • a

I am coming to NY in september for a holiday, and as a coffee addict i need to know where the best coffee is. I am staying in the flatiron district- but am prepared to travel for good coffee. The coffee must be espresso - not the filtered stuff!!!!

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. The best coffee places are downtown in Greenwich Village and Little Italy, try "Rocco's Bakery/Cafe" on Bleecker St. The Flatiron District has "71 Irving Place" which is quite good as well. The "Porto Rico Coffee Company" on Bleecker St. has a small espresso bar in the rear that is also good for a quick fix. And you may find your favorite by just stopping into various places during your trip. Enjoy!

    8 Replies
    1. re: Jon36

      Who has the most consistently good Colombian Supremo roasted whole bean: Zabars, Porto Rico, Fairway or any other place? And also what is your favorite house blend?

      1. re: BluPlateSpec

        I like the Agata & Valentina house blend. Mixed with French Market...

        1. re: Nina W.

          Thanks, will try it. I've had a taste for chicory in coffee since I had it in New Orleans.

          1. re: BluPlateSpec

            I think you may have misunderstood. The Agata & Valentina blend is just regular blended coffee. We mix it with French Market at home.

            1. re: Nina W.

              One other place in the Flatiron District is "Pain Quotidien" on East 19th Street near Broadway, which features organic coffee.

              1. re: Jon36

                I second Le Pain Quotidien on 19th, but my favourite coffee in the city recently has been Whole Food's lattes (I go to the one in Union Square). Piping hot, just the right mix of espresso and milk. Yummm.

        2. re: BluPlateSpec

          Props to Empire Coffee in Hell's Kitchen (9th btwn 41st/42nd) -- good beans, friendly wacked-out staff

        3. re: Jon36

          I'm a big coffee drinker and hate when I'm away from home b/c the first thing you want is "your coffee" they way YOU like it. When I'm in NYC, I always stop at '71 Iriving'. It's real coffee. Add milk and sugar to your tasting and go on with your day. Coffee is to be pure & simple.

        4. I think the Cafe Americain at Cafe Gitane on Mott and Prince is one of the best cups in the city. Grey Dog's Coffee (Carmine, just off Bleecker) is also good. As is Joe, on Waverly at 6thAve. I've had the coffee at 71 Irving and found it to be on the weaker side, flavor-wise. The three i mention above all possess strong flavor, while not being bitter, IMO. I've discovered much of the coffee in NYC to be on the less flavorful side. In general, you might do better w/espresso based drinks, rather than a brewed cup. If you go that route, don't go to Grey Dogs, as i've always found the espresso drinks on the watery side there. Good luck, and do tell us if you come across a great new find!

          1 Reply
          1. re: fresser

            Joe also has a spot on 13th btwn 5th & University - a little more convenient to Flatiron....

          2. A few good ones:

            CASA Cupcake between 40th/41st on 9th Ave accross the street behind the Port Authority

            Joe's on Waverly off 6th Ave or at 13th btw University and 5th

            MOCCA Espresso Lounge 78-82 Reade St in Tribeca

            1 Reply
            1. re: ScottB

              I like the Mud truck coffee place on 9th street between 1st and 2nd.

              Link: http://www.themudtruck.com/spots.html

            2. I know it's not espresso, but I would like to encourage you to try the coffe at Mei Lei Wah, an old time coffeeshop in Chinatown, on Bayard St.

              The coffee is rich and flavorful, and typical of that style.

              And don't forget to have a roasted pork bun while you're there...

              2 Replies
              1. re: Nina W.

                one of the last REAL chinse coffee shops {very special!!
                we have been going there since 1977

                rainer. susan. kim

                1. re: zorro66

                  The use siphons, which does great things for the coffee.

                  Try Chatham restaurant. Their coffee is also made with siphons, the roast pork buns are just as good, and the dim sum is better.

              2. Well, again, not espresso, but Cafe Sabarsky at the Neue Gallery on Museum Mile serves the best Viennese cafe in the city, which may be the best in the city overall. For espresso... hm. I guess I'd try one of the top italian place, though as a non-espresso drinker, I hesitate to reccomend one.

                2 Replies
                1. re: Dag

                  I love Cafe Sabarsky, and they serve a good cup of coffee, but I would not go there specifically for the coffee. It's not that special - they use Julius Meinl coffee, which is roasted in Vienna, but...so what? In Vienna it's just considered, well, a regular cup of coffee.

                  Cafe Sabarsky, however, is indeed worth a visit. I love the room, and the pastries are among the best in NYC. And certainly it is the closest to a Viennese cafe as I've experienced in this city.

                  1. re: Nina W.

                    Well, I *would* go for coffee and pastry. :)

                2. gotta put my two cents in...

                  we're talking espresso here:

                  joe (already mentioned) - house roast - really a fine cup

                  OTTO, BABBO - just fantastic - they use danesi - and every time, it is perfect (i suppose lupa has a great cup too, but i haven't had coffee there)

                  1. People who like Italian espresso seem to like SANT' AMBROEUS. There are two outposts: one on W. 4th St. in the Village, the other on the Upper East Side.

                    I know that prices tend to be high there.

                    1. A very good cup of espresso can be found a Via Quadronno.

                      1. check tha roasting plant in the LES on orchard.....

                        1. Aussie -

                          The BEST and believe me, is a place called Grumpy Old Men.
                          It's in Flatiron as well.

                          They're on 21st between 7&8th Ave. In the middle of the block.
                          I guarantee it !

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: chefwong

                            I think you might mean Cafe Grumpy on 20th street. Their coffee is not bad, but a bit pricey.

                            Since the OP asked about espresso and not American coffee, my vote would be for the 9th street espresso locations--Lower East Side and in Chelsea--and the former 9th street espresso (on 13th street, between 3rd and 4th), now called Everyman.

                          2. La Colombe just opened a cafe in Tribeca, on Church at Lispenard, I think. I'm a big fan of the one in Philadelphia and haven't been to the one in NYC yet, but they are very serious traditionalists about their coffee and I'd highly recommend them.

                            Also, as I mentioned elsewhere, Jack's Stir Brew on West 10th in the Village.

                            5 Replies
                            1. re: pronek

                              I love Sicaffe on Lex. This was the best cap I ever had this side of the Tiber!
                              another person mentioned my other fav...Via Quadronno.
                              Sicaffe is still my favorite of the two

                              1. re: italiana3

                                VQ is my favorite - with Sicaffe a close second!

                                1. re: MMRuth

                                  ruth, where is VQ? I moved from manahttan last year and I am now living in Pasadena. When I come back to visit the family, that will be my next stop!

                                  1. re: italiana3

                                    via quadranno is at 73rd and madison

                                    1. re: rgfoodie

                                      thanks, I missed your acronym of VQ! I go there all the time! I thought it was another place. :)

                            2. I've become a huge fan of Roasting Plant down on Orchard St in the lower east side. http://nymag.com/daily/food/2007/04/t...

                              They roast the coffee beans right in the shop before your eyes!

                              The Papua New Guinnea is my favorite, and I use it in my espresso machine.
                              Don't get the Guatamalan beans, they're awful. They taste like most Costa Rican coffee, which I'm not a fan of at all.

                              I have yet to be impressed by anything but the smell at Porto Rico. I've tried many of the most popular blends/roasts only to find the coffee thin tasting.

                              The Columbian and French Roast at Citarella is excellent. I can't stand the fruity zing that Zabar's house blend has. What's in there, chicory?

                              1. Just moved to NY from Seattle and I'm lucky to live near '9th Street Espresso' which I can recommend.

                                3 Replies
                                1. re: cocolucia

                                  Yes, another vote for 9th St Espresso - it's the best I've had in New York.

                                2. sciaffe on lex, best espresso i've had and there are leather chairs

                                  1. jack's has some good coffee on west 10th and greenwich. and if you are in williamsburg, check out gimme coffee on lorimer. they also sell gimme coffee coffees in more organic shops and coops.

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. i usually go to Joe's on 13th bet 5th and university b/c i live right there...i generally think its very good

                                      however, the best cup of coffee i've had in the city was at a restaurant...Scallinatella has a really great cappacino

                                      1. Hi there, how did you go in New York finding that Coffee that we Australians love? I'm off to New York in 2 weeks & must have my expressos daily. Where shall I go, please advise,

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: OzFood

                                          another good prospect is Manhattan Cafe, East 49th Street between 3rd and Lex

                                        2. Bottega Del Vino on 59th b/w 5th and Madison makes GREAT espresso and other espresso drinks. Other rec's in the midtown-area are FIKA -- a Sweedish espresso bar on 58th b/w 5th and 6th -- and Zibetto -- an Italian espresso bar at 56th and 6th.

                                          1. My general rule of thumb is that if you want good coffee in Manhattan you have to go south of 14th street. There are a couple of exceptions. Grumpy Coffee, which I haven't yet been to but which is highly regarded is just north of 14th and Sicaffee and Rohr's on the upper east side. Almost anything else up there, no matter what people claim is either burnt (Starbucks), stale (Porto Rico) or watery (Oren's). You're pretty much better off going to Dunkin' Donuts. Le Pan Quotidien will do in a pinch.

                                            If you can get south of 14th or over to Brooklyn, you've got plenty of options, most of which are mentioned above: Joe and the Art of Coffee, 9th Street Espresso, Oslo, Gimme Coffee, and Mud or Mudtruck, just to name a few.

                                            1. I really really miss la rosita- a dominican joint up on 108th and broadway.

                                              Cafe Con Leche is good too.

                                              It's not fancy, just yummy.

                                              1. veniero;'s on 11th st and 1st,,,,, and Pecan has really good latte on w. broadway and franklin

                                                1. The ( organic) Manhattan Blend at Whole Foods is actually pretty good.